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Title: The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A test of state-and-transition theory

item MCIVER, JAMES - Oregon State University
item BRUNSON, MARK - Utah State University
item BUNTING, STEVE - University Of Idaho
item CHAMBERS, JEANNE - Forest Service (FS)
item DEVOE, NORA - Bureau Of Land Management
item DOESCHER, PAUL - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item GRACE, JIM - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item JOHNSON, DALE - University Of Nevada
item KNICK, STEVE - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item MILLER, RICK - Oregon State University
item PELLANT, MIKE - Bureau Of Land Management
item Pierson Jr, Frederick
item PYKE, DAVID - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item ROLLINS, KIM - University Of Nevada
item ROUNDY, BRUCE - Brigham Young University
item SCHUPP, EUGENE - Utah State University
item TAUSCH, ROBIN - Forest Service (FS)
item TURNER, DAVID - Forest Service (FS)

Submitted to: Forest Service General Technical Reports
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/19/2010
Publication Date: 4/19/2010
Citation: McIver, J.D., Brunson, M., Bunting, S.C., Chambers, J., Devoe, N., Doescher, P., Grace, J.B., Johnson, D., Knick, S., Miller, R., Pellant, M., Pierson Jr, F.B., Pyke, D., Rollins, K., Roundy, B., Schupp, E., Tausch, R., Turner, D. 2010. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A Test of State-and-Transition Theory. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-237. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins. 16 p.

Interpretive Summary: Land managers are currently challenged with the arrest of the conversion of sagebrush steppe communities into pinyon-juniper woodlands and cheatgrass and with restoration of historic sagebrush steppe through applications of treatments such as prescribed fire, mowing, chaining, cutting, masticating, and/or herbicide application. Currently, scientific data required to evaluate existing states and transitions and appropriate land management treatments are lacking. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) presents as design to collect the necessary data to develop state and transition models for the management of sagebrush steppe ecosystems and to evaluate the human aspects (sociopolitical and economic) of sagebrush steppe management. This publication demonstrates the utility of state and transition modeling within the SageSTEP context for multidisciplinary management

Technical Abstract: The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) is a comprehensive, integrated, long-term study that evaluates the ecological effects of fire and fire surrogate treatments designed to reduce fuel and to restore sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities of the Great Basin and surrounding areas. SageSTEP has several features that make it ideal for testing hypotheses from state-and-transition theory: it is long-term, experimental, multisite, and multivariate, and treatments are applied across condition gradients, allowing for potential identification of biotic thresholds. The project will determine the conditions under which sagebrush steppe ecological communities recover on their own following fuel treatment versus the communities crossing ecological thresholds, which requires expensive active restoration.